OECD Economist Warns of Greater Dangers Than Before Financial Crisis

As stock markets reach record highs, one economist is warning that bubble-like conditions are growing as debt levels skyrocket and increase the likelihood of more defaults.

William White, an economist who chairs the OECD Economic and Development Review Committee, said today’s expensive markets are reminiscent of the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, which triggered the worst economic collapse in 80 years.

“We’re seeing all sorts of odd developments in financial markets. The prices of many financial assets are very high,” he said on Bloomberg TV. “Things could work out all right, but there are enough dangers that one should be thinking about the downside.” White formerly was economic adviser at the Bank for International Settlements.

He pointed to the expensive prices for high-yield debt, or junk bonds that are issued by the least creditworthy companies. He also said the VIX index, which measures how much investors are

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